A little Swede in Africa: Optimus 80

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Johan Le Roux, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Johan Le Roux South Africa

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    I was lucky to find this little guy in South Africa. It seems to have had a hard working but good life so far. I would love to have seen the paintwork on the can/windshield in better condition, but I am content believing that the state of it is due do good use and not abuse.

    It needed absolutely no fettling, and lit up well with Benzine (what some of us use rather than automotive petrol or gasoline).

    I have not yet cleaned and polished it, but I am itching to do so. I might just replace the fuel cap seal and safety valve pip for good measure.

    Optimus  80 a.jpg

    Optimus  80 b.jpg
     
  2. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Good Morning, @Johan Le Roux ,

    Welcome to CCS, and hearty congrats on finding that old Optimus 80! I would imagine that, finding such a thing in South Africa is a rare happenstance, indeed. So, you are blessed that this Old Timer came your way, me thinks!! You are also wise to replace the fuel cap and SRV pip as I'm sure they are more than ready for that task. For best results, use Viton sheet to punch them out. Or, buy them from The Fettle Box, here at CCS. If you are an ebayer, this seller makes some very nice Viton pips and gaskets, and had a long track record of happy customers. I've bought several things from him, over the years, and always been happy.

    (3) - STOVE GASKETS & (6) - PIPS - FOR SVEA 123 / PRIMUS 71 / OPTIMUS 8R | eBay

    If you need some advice on how to do the tasks ahead, there is plenty of outstanding information in the Fettling Forum. Just spend a bit of time there, and all will be made clear, along with helpful tips on how to easily do what needs be done. Thanks for sharing you neat old Optimus, and have fun with it! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  3. Majicwrench

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    Sweet, I like it! ....now help me out...isn't there a short and a long(er) model stove like that?? Yours look shorter than mine, though it could be the picture.

    Tis ANOTHER stove of mine that has not been on any adventures lately. Much work ahead of me.
     
  4. itchy

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    @Johan Le Roux
    Nice find. Scorching and burned paint around the upper area of the case are pretty standard for these stoves when they get used. The burned lid and front panel -- I've seen that before as well, but whether it happens under normal use -- doubt it. It looks to be free of rust so I think the case will serve you well as is. And, a good thing about the way it looks right now is you can use it at full power and not fret about altering the aesthetics.

    @Majicwrench
    I don't know about the Optimus 80 but Primus made a smaller version of their 71; it had a shorter fount. The proportions on Johan's stove look pretty standard to me.
     
  5. Johan Le Roux South Africa

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    Thank you gents.

    I imagine I feel at home here because I have been a pressure lamp enthusiast and CPLS member for quite a while. I have recently acguired a KFE Prince no5 and Chalwyn pressure stove, along with a Harper Beatrice 3175 wickie.

    The little Optimus is really a favourite so far. It measures just shy of 5 inches (12cm) from fount to burner, with the tin at 13.5 cm tall.

    Is there perhaps a way to date the 80?
     
  6. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi @Johan Le Roux . Optimus did not date code their stoves. However if you look through the Reference Gallery of Op.No. 80 stoves, and compare your stove and case features with the examples posted there you might be able to get an estimated production date.

    Have a look through this thread:

    My first Optimus 80

    If you could post some detailed photos of the tank markings and filler cap this would help in dating also.

    I reckon your No.80 could date from the mid 1950s- early 1960s..

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
  7. Majicwrench

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    @Itch you are correct, I dug out mine, it is a Primus 71 in a tin, I also have a Primus 71 w/o a tin and it has a smaller font.
     
  8. Johan Le Roux South Africa

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    I have uplaode some more photos, I guess it is an early model.

    20190413_200844.jpg

    20190413_201122.jpg

    20190413_201023.jpg
     
  9. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

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